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Did you realize that online donations to nonprofit organizations increase about 13 percent each year? For most organizations, finding a way to attract a large number of donors is one of their main focuses. Having an appealing and easy to navigate nonprofit website is a great way to garner more attention and increase the donations you get. When having the new site designed, be sure to include some of the following elements.

As we’ve discussed in recent posts, choosing an agency for your website redesign and branding efforts can help you save time, money and prove great ROI over time. However, not all nonprofit organizations have the budget to hire a professional. In these cases, many opt to go the DIY route. Here’s a few things tips to help you make the most of your DIY website redesign:  

Most nonprofit organizations rely on annual reports to communicate insights from the previous year and articulate their intentions for the future, combining human-interest stories with important data. In the past, this information has been presented in print, often in a text-heavy, large booklet on thick, glossy stock paper. As technology and design trends continue to advance, many nonprofits are deciding to make the switch from paper to a digital format.

Data design can take on many forms, including diagrams, charts, motion graphics and infographics, just to name a few. They can be static, interactive, stand-alone or integrated into stories. Whatever the method, data design is a tool to help engage, inspire and inform audiences. Data design is a way to present information in a structured way to effectively communicate a message with clarity and efficiency.

The term “brand” is not always completely understood. Branding is not just a logo or a trademark, but many components that work together to influence and shape the way your organization is perceived. Branding expert Marty Neumeier famously defines brand as “Who you are, what you do, and why you matter.” Branding is an important element of success for nonprofit organizations and should be built with careful consideration.

People are wired to seek out visual content. Due to the oversaturation of digital content and the increased adoption of mobile internet ccess, attention spans are shorter than ever, which makes content presented in the form of big blocks of text very off-putting. Audiences are drawn to content that tells a story, especially those about the human experience. Nonprofits can master visual storytelling by pairing data and statistics with the right graphics to tell a simple, but interesting story. These visuals will guide viewers and help them better understand your organization.

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be described as “the practice of improving and promoting a website in order to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines.” Organizations are continuously looking for ways to increase their search rankings, and ultimately grow their website’s organic traffic. Images play a big part in SEO strategy, and should be optimized properly in order to work toward your organization’s goals. 

Empathy – the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another person - is arguably one of the most important aspects of UX design. UX (User Experience) design trends can no longer be ignored as organizations are pushed to provide audiences with seamless and convenient interactions. Empathy allows nonprofit organizations to put themselves in a visitor’s shoes and leads them to a genuine understanding of how to solve their problems. By understanding a visitor’s emotions, motivations, goals and problems, organizations have a better ability to shape a visitor’s decisions to better meet their website goals.

Your website is the foundation of your online marketing efforts and often the first impression someone will have about your organization. Once you’ve made the leap and invested in a website redesign, it’s time to begin calculating the return on your investment. When measuring your website’s ROI, organizations must look at costs and the results. Because nonprofit websites typically aren’t focused on sales, there often is no cut and dry method for measuring ROI. However there are many different ways to track your success and determine whether your goals are being met. Here’s a few ways to help you get started: